Natura 2000 network is the main EU’s policy instrument on biodiversity conservation. Sites of Community Importance (SCI, recently transformed into Special Areas of Conservation- SAC) and Special Areas of Protection (SAP) have been identified within the whole European territory, with the aim of preserving and protecting habitats and vegetable and animal species that are threatened or rare at Community level. The ecological network thus constituted plays an important role of connection for protected species. The Greenway project aims at enhancing the ecological network of the Spoletan Valley, made up of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Areas of Protection, for which the ecological corridor that is going to be restored can represent the main element of connection.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210064 “Monteluco di Spoleto”
This SAC, with an extension of about 504 hectares, is located within the commune of Spoleto and it is constituted by a large calcareous hill that winds around the top of Monteluco (804 m). The site is situated south- east of Spoleto and includes the wooded slopes of Monteluco, from Vallecchia Valcieca. This Nature 2000 site is marked by an expansive holm oak wood with ultra- secular trees, called “Bosco Sacro” (Sacred Wood), one of the best preserved and the most representative of the region. The older trees, characterized by the presence of cavities and cervice, represent the ideal haven for several animal species and forest bats like Leisler’s bat.
Special Protection Area IT5220025 “Monte Fionchi – Bassa Valnerina”
This area covers a surface of about 6372 hectares in Bassa Valnerina, and encloses the stretch of Nera river between Terria and Marmore Falls. It includes the territories of seven municipalities: Scheggino, Spoleto, Montefranco, Arrone, Ferentillo, Polino and Terni. The area is characterized by the Nera river valley with the hills and mountains surrounding. Monte Fionchi (1.337 m), Monte Solenne (1.286 m) and Monte Beretta (1.148 m) represent the highest peaks: besides the important birdlife, the secondary meadows that mark them also house species of great conservation interest as the Apennine yellow-bellied toad,a small amphibian that is only present in few areas in the south- eastern part of Umbria.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210069 “Boschi di Montebibico”
This SAC is located east of the hamlet of Montebibico, in the municipality of Spoleto, and includes the hilly strip of 215 hectares almost exclusively characterized by forests where the chestnut trees are dominant. These woods, with several ultra- secular trees, are managed for nut production and for the construction of beams and poles. The big secular chestnut trees offer shelter and food to several animal species and among them to xilophagus insects as the stag beetle.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210060 “Monte Il Cerchio”
Located in the communes of Spoleto and Massa Martana, the site has an extension of 1290 hectares and completely includes the central part of the Martani Mountains ridge. The sinkhole of Pozzale, considered a site of great importance thanks to the presence of fossiliferous outcrops, is only an example of the different surface karst forms present in the whole area.
For the most part, the surface of this area is covered with holm oak woods alternate with nucleous of beeches that on the summits give way to grasslands, characterized by the presence of several orchid species during spring and summer.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210078 “Colline Premartane”
This area has an extension of 2550 hectares and it’s constituted by marl arenaceous hills ( made up of successions of sedimentary rocks and argillaceous materials); located on the right side of Tevere river, the hills that constitute this area reach an altitude of 500 metres.
The SAC is characterized by the presence of several vegetative associations: holm oak alternate with chestnut, Aleppo pine, Turkey oak and Durmast oak, thus originating extremely diversified woods.
Situated in the centre of Umbria, this site is an interesting factor of ecological connection between the Eastern and the Western part of the region.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210057 “Fosso Camposolo”
396 hectares wide, geologically Fosso Camposolo is a calcareous ravine and includes part of the pre-Apennine ridge that separates Valle Umbra from Valnerina. This area comprises the communes of Spoleto, Campello sul Clitunno and Vallo di Nera and it shows a great biodiversity due to species of great naturalistic value.
Vegetation is rich in endemisms, that is to say species present only in a determined area, such as Hellebore from Boccone and Apennine wallflower.
Woods are crossed by shallow waters where amphibians like spectacled salamander find their perfect breeding habitat during spring.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210047 “Monti Serano e Brunette”
The site is located north-east of Campello sul Clitunno, on the summit of the mountain complex that includes Pradafitta, Serano, Brunette, Cammoro, Carpegna and Vergozze Mountains. The highest peak is that of Serano Mount: 1429 metres upon sea level.
The area is one of the most representative mountain- forest- pasture complexes of the Umbrian calcareous Apennine, with an extension of about 1900 hectares. One of the most important habitat are the wide beechwoods that in some sectors are characterized by the presence of holly, a vegetable species extremely localized within the Umbrian territory. The mountain peaks house large dry grasslands that represent the hunting ground of the golden eagle.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210050 “Valle di Pettino”
This SAC has an extension of 844 hectares and includes the communes of Trevi, Campello sul Clitunno and Spoleto. The site, characterized by a wide calcareous hilly and sub-mountain surface, is located north- east of Campello sul Clitunno and includes the two versants of Pettino Valley and that of Campello Mountain, up to the hamlet of Pigge, within the commune of Trevi. The area is constituted by forests where the holm oak is dominant. Theese woods represent a remarkable example of inland Apennine sub-mediterranean ilex groves and are among the best preserved of the Central Eastern Umbria.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210053 “Fonti del Clitunno”
This SAC has an extension of 16 hectares and includes the communes of Campello sul Clitunno and Trevi. The site is located north of Campello sul Clitunno and includes the source and the first stretch of Clitunno river that, starting from the homonymous springs, reaches the hamlet of Pigge. Clitunno Springs create natural waters managed as a visitable private park: here the river starts its course that flows along SS 3 Flaminia. The small lake, 18 metres deep, is in part surrounded by ditches and channels that delimit small wet and fen meadows: the latter represent one of the best examples in Umbria of spring water vegetation.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210039 “Fiume Timia tra Bevagna e Cannara”
The area of this SAC includes only the course of Timia river (a right-side tributary of Topino river), along the stretch between Cannara (north) and Bevagna (south). The river runs straight thanks to artificial banks along this track, and crosses the northern sector of Valle Umbra. The vegetation that characterizes this site is connected to the surrounding water environment: water crowfoot and pondweed develop in shallow waters, while on the river banks reeds are dominant.
Special Area of Conservation IT5210043 “Sorgiva dell’Aiso”
This site, included within the commune of Bevagna, has an extension of 0,27 hectares and represents the smallest protected area belonging to Natura 2000 Network in Umbria. It is situated north of Bevagna, between Topino and Timia rivers. The SAC consists on a lake originated by a spring, and it is characterized by a remarkable depth and vertical walls. The area is surrounded by intensive grassland fields: this is one of the main threats for this site that, despite its very small dimensions, plays an important role in vegetable and animal biodiversity.